1.5M tourist arrivals recorded in Davao del Sur in 2023

DAVAO CITY (PIA) — Domestic tourist arrivals, particularly on a day tour in Davao del Sur, reached 1.5 million, of which Digos City had the largest contribution because of the Mt. Apo loop in 2023.

Davao del Sur Tourism and Cultural Office head Kervin Joseph Elijay said that local tourism is the draw factor for Davao del Sur.

He said foreign tourist arrivals also reached 27,932 in 2023, bringing a total of 1,527,932.

“We are cross-checking our data because there are tourist destination operators who did not report on time to the tourism office,” he said.

Elijay said the 2022 data on tourist arrivals in the province was recorded at 986,778 for day tour tourists and 76,750 for night stays.

Kervin Joseph Elijay, head of the Davao del Sur Provincial Tourism and Cultural Office. (PIA XI photo)

Of the total arrivals, some 73,776 were locals and 2,974 were foreign tourists.

He said Digos City alone registered 42,176 tourist arrivals in February 2024.

“Moadto sila sa atoa to visit and enjoy the places, but mouli guihapon sila.  It is very challenging for us because we want them to spend more. Tourism is an economic driver so dapat ang atong panglantaw gyud kay pangnegosyo,” Elijay said.

(They come to visit the tourist destinations and go home. It is very challenging for us because we want them to spend more. Tourism is an economic driver, which is why we have to emphasize that it is business.)

He said the resorts in the Mt. Apo loop, particularly in Barangay Tibulo, Sta. Cruz, Barangay Managa in Bansalan, and Barangay Kapatagan in Digos City remain the preferred options.

He said other choices are the caves in Matanao town, particularly in Barangays Colonsabac and Asbang; the eco-park in Bansalan, owned by the Laos family; and other eco-adventure areas in Sta. Cruz, like the Passig Island Aqua and Ecopark, Liling Beach in Hagonoy, Crocodile Hill in Padada for Mt. Apo for preparatory trekkers, and Dakung Krus in Sulop and Kiblawan, due to their inland resorts that impact local residents.

Elijay  said they look at the revenue more than the beauty of the place.

“Paarkilahan sa mga lumad ang ilang mga balay for homestay.  Pag-abot sa food sila ang kinahanglan magpreparar aron ang income, maglibot lamang sa ilaha ug tungod niini, mamahihimo silang gamhanan,  Mao ni among gilantaw,” he said.

One of the tourist destinations in Davao del Sur is the Haven's Dew Resort in Barangay Managa, Bansalan town. (Photo by JBG/PIA)

(The Lumads will have their houses rented for homestays. It is also preferred that they prepare the food so that any income will just revolve among themselves; consequently, they will be empowered.  We make sure that these things happen to them.)

He added that the direction of the province is to provide every tourist attraction with good road accessibility.

“We are currently on the level of reactivatingall potential tourist destinations in the province, based on the provincial tourism development plan,” Elijay said.

He pointed out that the Provincial Tourism Development Plan will integrate the tourism plans of every municipality in the province to guarantee a clearer direction for the tourism program.

Elijay said the Davao del Sur Tourism Office is organizing with the local government units and funding institutions to add more tourist attractions like Mt. Apo Agri-Tourism Park, Holy Land, and Sitio Talambato, Barangay Asbang in Matan-ao.

“We want to achieve more than just caving and spelunking. We want to establish experience with the family in a given tourist destination,” he said. (JSGD/PIA Davao del Sur/Thumbnail photo from Julius Paner)

In other News
Skip to content